bound with Tibetan string,
medallion & handcraft pieces
b/w & color copy | yak wool cover
edition of 100
Based in NYC, Kawai strives to make work which keeps the innocent, honest integrity of adolescent playfulness, but on a more grand and sophisticated level. The artist’s rough, faux-naif style follows an aesthetic called “heta-uma,” a Japanese term that Kawai translates as “bad technique, good sense.”
In the context of Japanese contemporary art, Kawai can be seen as part of a continuum of female artists such as Atsuko Tanaka and Yayoi Kusama who investigate the use of color, material, patterning and performance in their practices.
Kawai has exhibited extensively at major international venues. She has had a solo show at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2007); a two-person show at one of Japan’s leading private institutions, the Watari Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (2006); and was included in “Greater New York 2” at PS 1 Contemporary Art Center, New York (2005). In 2009 she was included in “Visions of the Frontier” at Institut Valencia d’Art Modern and “I Believe: Japanese Contemporary Art” at the Museum of Modern Art, Toyama. She is featured in the "This Is Not a Toy" exhibition, Toronto.